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This Olive Garden salad dressing recipe is an Italian American favorite! Get all the delicious bold and tangy flavors you know and love in this simple homemade dressing.

If you’re craving more restaurant-quality favorites at home, try this Easy Chicken Gnocchi Soup, my Minestrone Soup Recipe, or Zuppa Toscana.

a jar of italian dressing being drizzled on a salad

Why you’ll love it

The house salad is actually one of the things I look forward to most at Olive Garden. That dressing is just so addictive with its zesty taste and a hint of sweetness, and I’ve tried our best to recreate it here (but we kinda like our version even better, actually).

It’s just a really great homemade Italian vinaigrette that will satisfy everyone, even those who don’t normally go crazy over salad, and it’s so easy to make at home. You can feel good knowing exactly what goes into it, essentially just a handful of pantry ingredients!

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil and mayonnaise – for the rich base
  • White vinegar – gives a tangy touch
  • Sugar – it adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance the acidity
  • Italian seasoning – grab a jar of this convenient dried herb mix from any grocery store
  • Onion powder and garlic powder – this duo enhances the savory flavor
  • Parmesan – adding parmesan to Italian dressing is a game changer. Always grate your own for freshness and texture! We like using this Microplane zester.
ingredients for olive garden salad on a marble surface

Veggies for Olive Garden salad

  • For a true copycat Olive Garden salad, the one you’re familiar with has lettuce (iceberg or Romaine), black olives, pepperoncini peppers, sliced red onions, Roma tomatoes slices, and Garlic Croutons. Toss with this dressing, add more grated parmesan if desired, and enjoy!
  • But you can totally use any vegetables you like with this vinaigrette. It’s great over mixed greens and even shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix. Add any of your favorite fresh toppings.

How to make Olive Garden salad dressing

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

mixing olive garden salad dressing with a whisk in a metal bowl

Simply add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk vigorously. I like using a metal whisk. You could also add everything to a mason jar with a lid and shake it up. Taste and adjust as need, e.g. more salt & pepper or more sugar/vinegar. That’s it!

Substitutions and variations

  • Use a packet of Italian dressing mix instead of the individual herbs and garlic powder and onion powder if you prefer. However, those often contain sugar, so you might not want to add extra if you go that route.
  • Try using fresh herbs or changing up the herb blend. Keep in mind that the more you tweak it, the less it’ll taste like the Olive Garden version. That’s ok too!
  • I recommend using the mayo as suggested for the best texture and flavor. I’ve seen others use yogurt or sour cream in its place, but it’ll taste different than intended.
close up of a salad with italian dressing being drizzled

What to serve with this dressing

Leftovers and storage

  • Keep this dressing in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for 5-7 days.
  • I wouldn’t recommend storing an assembled salad for any period of time. Instead, just keep the individual elements separate in the fridge, and make a new salad with leftover dressing when you feel like it.
a jar of italian dressing next to a salad

Are you a fan of this homemade creamy Italian dressing? Did you make it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Tag me on Instagram if you made it.

a jar of italian dressing being drizzled on a salad
4.95 from 20 votes

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

This Olive Garden salad dressing recipe is an Italian American favorite! Get all the delicious bold and tangy flavors you know and love in this simple homemade dressing.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 tablespoons

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients to a prep bowl and whisk together, or add them to a jar and shake vigorously until combined. Taste and adjust if needed (e.g. add more vinegar or sugar).
  • Keep dressing in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Shake well before using as some separation will occur.

Notes

  • Makes about 3/4 cup dressing – this should be good for 1-2 large salads or more smaller ones.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbsp, Calories: 119kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 7mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.95 from 20 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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35 Comments

  1. Cathy Bocca says:

    This dressing is the most authentic and best tasting.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much, Cathy!!

  2. Becky says:

    Could you use fresh basil

    1. Natasha says:

      Sure!

  3. Annette says:

    5 stars
    This dressing is so good. My husband who doesn’t usually eat salads now wants one every day!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s so nice to hear, Annette!! 😀 Thanks for letting me know!

  4. SLL says:

    Hey folks,
    Made this according to directions, and it turned out to be a decent base dressing, but did not taste anything like a copycat Olive Garden, Italian.

    I doubled the Italian seasoning and added an extra tablespoon of Parmesan and the juice from half a lemon and it came out much closer to an OG style dressing. Not a copycat. Tweak it and you have something to work with that people will enjoy.

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      Hi! It sounds like you arrived at the perfect dressing to suit your tastes by adjusting the listed ingredient quantities/proportions, which is how most people approach salad dressing recipes. Other readers enjoy it as written.

      1. Lindsey says:

        5 stars
        My family of 8 loved it. The mayo and oil you use will obviously change the flavor. It’s great as written but I’d taste it before adding the sugar. One brand of mayo made it seem much sweeter. Thanks for this recipe! My kids are obsessed with the OG dressing and these ingredients are much healthier. ❤️

        1. Natasha says:

          I’m so happy it’s a new favorite, Lindsey!! Thank you!!

    2. Chrissy Lewis says:

      4 stars
      I did this and it helped a bit

  5. Clinton says:

    5 stars
    I just made this recipe just as you wrote it and it taste great. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay! You’re very welcome, Clinton.

  6. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    Really lovely and easy recipe. It tasted like a restaurant salad and really elevated our salads. Very, very good. I should have used regular olive oil instead of extra virgin which is slightly more bitter. This will be our go-to for creamy Italian dressing. I like that the vinegar is not over powering like some dressings.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much!!

  7. Jim says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe, but I did make 2 small changes:

    1) I used a full teaspoon of garlic powder instead of half a teaspoon.

    2) I added one teaspoon of lecithin powder, which bound the vinegar to the oil, thus producing a much tangier result, closer to olive garden’s IMHO.